Tag s | Bestsellers

1993: A Good Year for Books

Today we take a glimpse at early 1993 and the books defining culture and thought twenty-five years ago. It’s impossible to know where you are going if you don’t know from where you came…in life or publishing!

The January 3, 1993 New York Times Bestseller List:


  1. DOLORES CLAIBORNE, by Stephen King. (Viking) A 1995 film starring Kathy Bates and a 2013 opera…yes, an opera.
  2. MIXED BLESSINGS, by Danielle Steel. (Delacorte)
  3. MEXICO, by James A. Michener. (Random House)
  4. THE PELICAN BRIEF, by John Grisham. (Doubleday) Very successful film released in late 1993 starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.
  5. THE TALE OF THE BODY THIEF, by Anne Rice. (Knopf) Despite several attempts at a movie, none have come to fruition.
  6. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, by Robert James Waller. (Warner) A 1995 film starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep and a Tony Award winning musical opened on Broadway in 2014.
  7. THE STARS SHINE DOWN, by Sidney Sheldon. (Morrow)
  8. SABINE’S NOTEBOOK, by Nick Bantock. (Chronicle Books)
  9. GERALD’S GAME, by Stephen King. (Viking) Film premiered on NetFlix in 2017.
  10. THE GENERAL’S DAUGHTER, by Nelson DeMille. (Warner) A 1999 film starring John Travolta.
  11. GRIFFIN & SABINE, by Nick Bantock. (Chronicle Books)
  12. MOSTLY HARMLESS, by Douglas Adams. (Harmony) Fifth volume of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series. Author wrote several “Dr. Who” episodes among other things. Died in 2001 at age 49.
  13. WHERE IS JOE MERCHANT? by Jimmy Buffett. (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
  14. DINOTOPIA, written and illustrated by James Gurney. (Turner Publishing) Illustrated book won Hugo award and sold over two million copies.
  15. DRIVING FORCE, by Dick Francis. (Putnam) Author had a prolific career spanning over fifty years.


  1. THE WAY THINGS OUGHT TO BE, by Rush H. Limbaugh 3d. (Pocket)
  2. IT DOESN’T TAKE A HERO, by H. Norman Schwarzkopf with Peter Petre. (Linda Grey/Bantam) The autobiography of the general.
  3. EVERY LIVING THING, by James Herriot. (St. Martin’s)
  4. TRUMAN, by David McCullough. (Simon & Schuster)
  5. WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. (Ballantine)
  6. I CAN’T BELIEVE I SAID THAT! by Kathie Lee Gifford with Jim Jerome. (Pocket)
  7. THE TE OF PIGLET, by Benjamin Hoff. (Dutton)
  8. JFK: Reckless Youth, by Nigel Hamilton. (Random House)
  9. SEX, by Madonna. (Warner)
  10. GENIUS, by James Gleick. (Pantheon)
  11. MY LIFE, by Earvin (Magic) Johnson with William Novak. (Random House)
  12. YOUNG MEN & FIRE, by Norman Maclean. (University of Chicago)
  13. DAVE BARRY DOES JAPAN, by Dave Barry. (Random House)
  14. HANG TIME, by Bob Greene. (Doubleday) Bio of Michael Jordan.
  15. I HAVEN’T UNDERSTOOD ANYTHING SINCE 1962, by Lewis Grizzard. (Villard)

A sampling of the thousands of new books in the Christian market which released in 1993 are:

The Message Bible (Eugene Peterson)

Boundaries (Henry Cloud and John Townsend)

My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers, updated edition by Jim Reimann)

A Voice in the Wind (Francine Rivers)

Developing the Leader in You (John Maxwell)

When God Doesn’t Make Sense (James Dobson)

Tender Warrior (Stu Weber)

Roaring Lambs (Bob Briner)

Finding God (Larry Crabb)

Other bestselling authors in the Christian market twenty-five years ago were:

Larry Burkett
Charles Colson
Bill Hybels
Barbara Johnson
John MacArthur
Janette Oke
JI Packer
Frank Peretti
Michael Phillips
Gary Smalley
Joni Eareckson Tada
Bodie and Brock Thoene
Lori Wick
Warren Wiersbe

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Bestsellers in 1982

Continuing my twice-yearly focus on bestsellers from years gone by, today we stop the “way-back” machine thirty-five years ago. The New York Times Bestseller lists from June 27, 1982: Fiction The Parsifal Mosaic, by Robert Ludlum. (Spy novel with possible film being recently discussed, thirty-five years later!) The Man From …

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The Bestseller Code: Decoded

Last week, to great fanfare, a new book analyzing bestselling books hit the market. In my opinion, The Bestseller Code: The Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel by Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers is intriguing and provocative, but ultimately an exercise in futility. Every author wants a short cut to achieve bestseller success. What …

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The Best Selling Christian Books of all Time

I realize attempting to compile a list like this could ruffle some feathers from both publishing and literature purists, not to mention the theological issues raised in the process of determining a “Christian” book. But I thought I would take a stab at it anyway. The list of the best-selling …

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Best Selling Books Sixty Years Ago

Continuing my early 2016 focus on sixty years ago, today we will look back at the New York Times bestseller list for January 15, 1956. Fiction ANDERSONVILLE, by MacKinlay Kantor (Won the Pulitzer Prize for 1956) MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR, by Herman Wouk (Made into a 1958 film with Gene Kelly and …

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Rejection and Listening to the Right Voice

I love hearing about surprise best-sellers. Those books that no one thought would sell, that the pros in publishing turned down, and that then went on to become bestsellers. Even classics. Anyone who has been in publishing for a considerable time has his or her story. The book we turned …

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Bestsellers Twenty Years Ago

Twice each year, I take this space on the agency blog and make a trip down memory lane to see what books were selling many years ago. If you understand from where books have come, you can understand where books are going. Below is the New York Times bestseller list …

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Bestsellers Thirty Years Ago

We hop back into our “way-back machine” for our twice yearly trip to the past and see what books were selling before I started losing my hair and life was comparatively simple. January 6, 1985…thirty years ago today, here are the New York Times bestseller lists: Fiction The Talisman, by …

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Bestselling Books in 1974

Starting today, and every six months, we are going to take a ride in the “way-back” machine (with special acknowledgment to Mr. Peabody and Sherman), traveling back in time to grab a snapshot of what books were selling on a particular date and year. To get an idea where publishing …

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Mystery of the Bestseller List

In my years in publishing, one of the most interesting aspects has been the evolution of best-seller lists.  The primary source of confusion for authors and publishers of Christian books is that the most influential best-seller lists (New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly) do not consider sales of books at Christian retailers in their calculations to any great extent.  Hence, Christian books are handicapped from the beginning as they compete with the general market/non-Christian books on the various lists.

There is no comprehensive national best-seller list for Christian books.  There are lists that count sales mostly in general retail and those that count sales mostly in Christian stores, but there is no list that combines the sales in any meaningful way.  Add to this the large number Christian books sold through ministries, specialty racks (Choice Books, etc.), book clubs and by authors themselves.  None of those sales count for best-seller lists.

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